A Corcoran, E Delaney
The Recreation Ground, 8th October 2011
Ruthlessness in front of goal was the difference between Pewsey Vale and Wootton Bassett Town as the Wessex League side conquered their visitors 4-2 in an entertaining Wiltshire Senior Cup first round battle.
Creating just three chances in the opening 45 minutes, it was enough for the hosts to stake out a 3-1 lead. And although a stunning Adam Corcoran effort on the stroke of half time decreased the deficit, there were to be no happy returns for manager Dave Turner and a number of the Bassett squad against their former club as the Pewsey back line defended diligently following the restart.
Had fortune favoured Bassett early on though, the outcome of the game could have been very different.
Their dominance in the opening stages was duly rewarded a goal six minutes in when Ethan Delaney capitalised on a mix-up between â€˜keeper Louis Latouche and defender David Cope on the edge of the area. The pair left a long, hopeful ball for each other, and Delaney nipped in to steal possession and tap into the empty net.
However, that could really have been the visitors' third of the afternoon. Less than 120 seconds are the opening whistle, Matt Bown carved the home defence wide open with a slide rule pass for Lee Bowen, but the striker, with just Latouche to beat, fired straight at the â€˜keeper from twelve yards.
Moments later, indecision similar to that which gifted Bassett the lead saw Latouche desperately haul down Delaney just inside the area, but neither the referee nor his assistant obliged to grant the penalty which should have came.
Still, Delaney's goal sixty seconds on coupled with Pewsey's inauspicious start offered hope that Bassett would continue to control the game.
Any ideas that would be the case were dashed though in the 20th minute when against the run of play the hosts grabbed an equaliser in emphatic style. Allowed too much freedom as he entered the final third, Ricky Franklin squared for Jack Hopper, who found himself a yard of space and fired low into the bottom left corner past a well beaten Peter Doolan from just outside the area.
Now very much an even affair, the game's next two chances fell to Bassett. Just after the half hour mark, a low Bown corner fell kindly to Bowen on the edge of the box but his firmly struck snap shot whistled narrowly over. Then, left back Craig Bowden drove straight at Latouche following Alex Harper's whipped in delivery.
Capitalising on their visitors' profligacy, Pewsey delivered a sucker punch with two well taken goals in a four minute span. In the 41st minute Adam Field took advantage of a heavy touch from Shaun Carter, teeing up Franklin, who smacked a low half-volley into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Franklin then turned creator. Hesitation from James Blake saw possession change hands deep inside the Bassett half and the winger cut inside before squaring for Michael Martin to drive home from distance.
To Bassett's credit heads did not drop and they found a lifeline from an unlikely source deep in first half stoppage time. Receiving an expert square ball from Bown on the right edge of the box, Corcoran shifted the ball from his right boot to his weaker left – a move which caused his marker to slip – and he curled a sublime effort past a despairing Latouche with the assistance of the upright.
Try all they could for an equaliser following the restart, Bassett could not find a breakthrough; it was typical really for a game featuring a string of goals in the first half that the second was a much tighter affair.
Pewsey's defence tightened, with Jon Guthrie – a player who has been on trial recently with Crewe Alexandra – stifling the creativity of Delaney with some excellent man marking.
It would be from a set-piece that Bassett came closest to make it all square again, but substitute Kyle Pitts – who was an effective presence during the half hour he received – saw his backwards header miss the target by inches.
Having to throw caution to the wind, it was no surprise that the home side were able to fashion a couple decent openings in the hope of finally killing the game off. Both Ricky Swatton – denied by a firm Doolan parry – and Hopper – his volley fortunately being deflected over – managed to miss to keep Bassett hopes flickering.
But the latter finally put the game beyond doubt with two minutes remaining, tapping into an open goal after Ryan Banks had jumped on a poor pass and initiated an incisive move.
Scoop's Man of the Match: Matt Bown – Bassett's most effective attacking outlet again, Bown was a bundle of energy out on the left wing. Set up the team's second with a brilliant cross-field ball and provided the forwards with a number of other crisp passes which deserved better.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – despite conceding four goals this was not a bad Bassett performance as Dave Turner's side played some good, expansive football. It was just that Pewsey's finishing decided the game's outcome – although Bassett errors helped contribute to them, their three first half goals were brilliantly taken.
Last modified on Monday 22nd June 2015 at 23:38
A Corcoran, E Delaney